Summary: 1 in 5 people will develop a mental health illness by the end of this year. That is more than 20% of the population. Mental health is something to take seriously, considering it does take a toll both mentally and physically on someone if it is not properly treated.
Slowly but surely, mental health has become less of a taboo topic and is being discussed in mainstream media. People used to believe they needed to toughen up and put on a happy face, but we’ve come to realize that it’s okay to not be okay.
Having negative feelings is part of life. However, if you’re feeling down more often than not and it’s affecting your daily life, there are many ways to help you improve your mood and take care of your mental health. Turning these tips into consistent habits is absolutely key. Just doing something once may help in the moment, but continually repeating the habit over the long term will make a bigger improvement. Here are ten mental health tips that can make a big difference.
- Don’t watch TV before bed. Sure, television is a great way to zone out, but it leaves you in a bit of a fog and can keep you up way too late. Take 20 minutes to do something like journal, color, take a bath or call a friend.
- Make sleep a priority but don’t overdo it. Sleep is really important, especially if you’re someone who feels like they’re always busy and you put sleep last. You need that time for your brain to recharge. Some people dealing with depression, however, will sleep too much to avoid dealing with how they feel. If you’re sleeping more than 8-10 hours a day, consider talking to your doctor.
- Turn off your phone. Whether it’s for an hour or for half the day, try turning off your phone and avoiding electronics. Focus on yourself during the here and now rather than constantly responding to what other people are putting in front of you.
- Take a mental health day. When life gets overwhelming and you feel like you’re going at full speed it can really wear you down. Take a day off for your mental health and do things that you want to do rather than you have to do.
- Try a therapist. If you’ve been feeling down for a while, consider finding a therapist to help you work through how you’re feeling. Therapists can give you tools to move through difficult times and get yourself in a better place. Search for someone who is an expert in what you’re dealing with and consider meeting with several. Not everyone is a good match.
- Meditate. I know, I know, it doesn’t sound fun to most people. However, meditation can really calm you down and make you ready to jump back into the day. Try apps like Insight Timer or Headspace if you have trouble doing it on your own.
- Use positive affirmations. Another “woo woo” topic, but they really can help. Try writing down positive affirmations, even if they don’t feel true. Things like “today is going to be a good day,” “I am loved and appreciated,” “I bring value to this world,” can help change your mood, especially if you’re consistent about using them.
- Talk to your friends and family. You may want to keep how you’re feeling to yourself, but doing so only isolates you further. Consider talking to someone you trust about how you’re feeling. Even if they just listen and don’t give you advice, it can be helpful to get it out as well as have someone who knows that you might need a boost here and there.
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